Date of Original Publication: 2007 Author: Chalked Hussein Setting: Heart, Afghanistan, Gull Adman, Immure, Pakistan, and Kabul from 1958 until the present Importance of Setting: The story takes place in a time where it is acceptable or men to have several wives and unacceptable to have children out of wedlock, or sex before marriage. Divorce was taboo and most men could so whatever they wanted to their wives in the comfort of their own homes. During the novel, the war in Afghanistan begins and many things that are popular to people become outlawed.
Women lose rights and the government growingly becomes theocratic. Plot: The novel is told in four parts from the points of view of two women in Afghanistan, Miriam and Leila. Miriam lives in a hut with her single mother. Her father is a rich man who lives in the city. She cannot live with her father cause she is an illegitimate child, born out of wedlock. However, her father still visits her every Thursday. On her fifteenth birthday, Miriam wants her father to take her to see Pinochle at his theater in the city.
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When he does not show up, she walks to his house in the city against her mothers wishes. He refuses to speak to her when she arrives at his house and she sleeps on his porch. In the morning, she returns home to find that her mother has hanged herself because she believed Miriam was never coming back. She stays with her father for a while until he decides to marry her off to a man who is thirty ears older than him. She has seven miscarriages and throughout the novel, he grows more and more abusive to her.
The second part of the book begins with a happy girl named Leila who lives in the same neighborhood as Miriam and her husband. Leila has a friend named Atari whom she is friends with, despite the rumors about them being more than just friends. When war comes to Afghanistan, Kabul is attacked by rockets and Tarsi’s family decides to leave the city. During Atari and Lei’s goodbye, their emotions get the best of them and they end up having sex. Later, Lei’s family decides to leave the city, but while they are caking, a rocket hits their house, killing her parents and severely injuring her.
Miriam and her husband, Rushed take them in. After Lei’s recovery, she discovers that she is pregnant with Tarsi’s child. After being told that Atari is dead, she agrees to wed Rushed. When Leila gives birth to her daughter, Aziza, Rushed becomes suspicious and shortly begins to abuse her. When Miriam and Leila become friends, they attempt to run away from him, but they are caught at the bus station. Rushed beats them, Leila gives birth to Rasher’s son, Salami. There is a drought and living conditions become terrible.
When Rasher’s workshop burns down, Leila is forced to send Aziza to live in an orphanage. One day, while Rushed is at work, Atari shows up and reunites with Leila. When Rushed returns home, Salami tells him about Tarsi’s visit. Rushed begins to brutally beat Leila. He tries to strangle her, but Miriam kills him with a shovel. Later, she confesses to his murder, gets executed, and Leila, Atari, and the children run away to Pakistan. After the fall of the Taliban, they return to Afghanistan and Leila becomes a teacher.
She discovers that she IS pregnant with her third child and proclaims that she will name it Miriam if it s a girl. Point of View: The novel is written from the points of view of both Miriam and Leila. A Thousand Splendid Suns contains the lives of both narrators. Style: a) The author’s word choice was formal. It was complex and learned. It was written with advanced portrayal emotion and maturity. B) The book was easy to read, but it was composed on a high maturity level. Liked that the author wrote in a mature fashion, yet it was still an easy read.
Characters: Miriam-protagonist, illegitimate, orphaned child, forced to marry abusive husband (Rehashed), has seven miscarriages, befriends Leila, kills Rehashed, ND gets executed Leila-has modern parents, orphaned, has Tarsi’s child out of wedlock, marries Rehashed, is abused, almost choked to death by Rehashed, forced to leave Afghanistan with Atari and children Atari-neighbor and love of Laic’s life, has one leg, father’s Laic’s daughter, Aziza, comes back for Leila, and weds her Rehashed-antagonist, cruel, abusive, old man, husband of Miriam and Leila Jail Khan-Maria’s rich, womankind father, treats Miriam as an object of SSH name Corncobs: 1. Kola- The kola is a symbol of the trapped feeling and poverty that Miriam experiences her whole entire life. It is a home and a prison for her. Because she is born out of wedlock, she is trapped there, away from others. 2. Burma- The Burma is a symbol Of entrapment and submission. The Burma hides the women and takes away their identities when they are forced to where them. 3. Muggers-Nana tells Miriam that she is a muggers to her father, a weed that has been tossed aside. This shows that she is a symbol of her father’s shame.
However, she was “replanted” and given “nutrients” whenever she befriended Leila. Theme: Discrimination against women- It was simply just a thought that men would have total control over their wives until the Taliban made it law. Then, they were thought of as inferior objects. They couldn’t show their faces or bodies outside and they could only go out with their husbands. Women were beat, murdered, and discriminated against when the Taliban gained control. Opinion: I loved this book. It was one of the best books I have read in a long time. It was extremely interesting and engaging. The story was heart wrenching and tear-jerking. The message this book conveys about female rights will stay with me forever.